You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Abi's Restaurant - Review

We got home from grocery shopping last Saturday and as we walked in the door were still contimplating what to cook for dinner. We found our answer when we saw the answering machine blinking at us. It was our recently married friends J & A calling to say that even though it's last minute, would we like to go out to dinner with them. Well, no need to think any further. We called them back and talked about where we could go. J & A live in Rockville, MD and we've usually met them at Joe's Noodle House (Review one and Review two) when we get a Szechuan craving but tonight they wanted to come down our way. Our decision was to meet at Abi's. A very convenient decision for us as we can walk there from our place.

Located just across the street from the Huntington Metro (North Kings Hwy side), Abi's is in the space formerly occupied by the Cosmopolitan Restaurant (great Bosnian food but that's another post yet to be written). Back in the late winter/early spring both restaurants swapped places. Abi's, once a carry out joint was in a store front three places down from Cosmo. Now both have settled in nicely to their new digs. The only remnant from Cosmopolitan left in the new Abi's is a picture of somewhere in Bosnia that still hangs on the back wall as you walk to the restrooms.

When you arrive at your table, you get a basket of tortilla chips and a little cup of spicy salsa. The chips are very thin, which I like but they could use a little salt. The salsa is spicy and full of chopped tomato, and onion bits.Each couple ordered a cheese and loroco pupusa. It came with a bit of salvadoran slaw called curtido and a tomato based sauce. The pupusas at Abi's are very good. Lots of gooey cheese inside, sometimes with a little leaking out so you have a crunchy bit on the outside to nibble on. I top mine with some of the curtido and eat away. The cold vinegary bite and crunch from the curtido add a nice contrast to the hot gooey pupusa. I could make a meal of these and be perfectly happy. Biscuit rating: 3 biscuits

To me, the pupusa is the barometer of Salvadoran restaurants. You can tell how good the place is from their pupusas. We're lucky to have to Salvadoran places within walking distance to our house and both serve great pupusas (Pilar's is the other place). We've talked about having a pupusa comparison night with me bringing home pupusas from Abi's and Jim (aka Biscuit Boy) bringing some home from Pilar's. Then eating them side by side to see who's is better. Yes, it's a tough job, but we 're up for the challenge.

Anyway, back to Abi's. Our entree's included the whole Tilapia. Fried and nested on top of rice studded with corn, peas and chopped red pepper. A small salad accompanied the dish. The fish was very tasty if not the tiniest bit overcooked. Not so much so that there was nothing but a pile of bones left over. Biscuit rating: 2.5 biscuits (would have been higher if it was cooked just a little less done)

Next up was the Chicken Fajita's. A sizziling platter chock full of sliced chicken, onions and green peppers. A few warm tortilla's come safely tucked in foil on the side. From across the table the smelled wonderful and judging from the absolutely clean skillet afterwards, our friend J enjoyed them. Biscuit rating: 3 biscuits

Our next entree (selected by A) was the taco salad. A freshly made flour tortilla bowl brimming with chicken, beans, cheese, onions and topped with lettuce, tomato and sour cream. A could only manage to plow through about half of it before she had to push it back and declare defeat. The taco salad was too filling for her to finish. But it still got a thumbs up. Biscuit rating: 3 biscuits

Our final entree selection was the Plato Tipico (I think that's what it was, I forgot to write it down). A thinly sliced steak sitting on top the rice (same rice the fish was on) and topped with a slice of fried plantain. On the side, refried beans, lettuce and a wedge of avacado. This was my dish and I really enjoyed it. The plantain was slightly sweet and oddly good with the beef. My only complaint was biting into a small bit of bone with my first bite. Biscuit rating: 2.5 biscuits
Abi's is a great neighborhood place that I hope stays around. The service is friendly and relaxed so don't go if you're in a big hurry. Just sit back, sip on one of the many varieties of beer they have to offer, and watch the TV. There's usually a spanish language soap opera, talk show (think Jerry Springer in Spanish - it's a hoot) or a game show tuned into. No need to worry about language barriers..... these shows are all the same no matter what language they're in. And before you know it, your food arrives and it's time to eat.

Abi's Restaurant
5838-B North Kings Highway
Alexandria, VA 22303

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Youngster!! I can't believe that you posted the "family's secret recipe" for spaghetti sauce. Well at least you got it right and what atime is dinner???

11:36 AM  

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